Shai Dothan (University of Copenhagen – iCourts – Centre of Excellence for International Courts) has posted “Facing Up To Internet Giants” (Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Mancur Olson claimed that concentrated interests win against diffuse interests even in advanced democracies. Multinational companies, for example, work well in unison to suit their interests. The rest of the public is not motivated or informed enough to resist them. In contrast, other scholars argued that diffuse interests may be able to fight back, but only when certain conditions prevail. One of the conditions for the success of diffuse interests is the intervention of national and international courts. Courts are able to fix problems affecting diffuse interests. Courts can also initiate deliberation that can indirectly empower diffuse interests by getting them informed. This paper investigates the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It argues that these international courts help consumers, a diffuse interest group, to succeed in their struggle against internet companies, a concentrated interest group.